Check out part one, part two, and part three of our "Favorite Aggie Sports Moments" series.
And then there were ten. Today we'll get Sirr Parker, Johnny Manziel, and a boatload of 12th man towels. There's too much to discuss, and I refuse to waste any more space up here. Let's do it.
#10 - Johnny’s Heisman Ceremony (New York City; 2012)
Despite heaping evidence to the contrary, most Aggies were still cautiously waiting for BAS to rear its ugly head as 2012 came to a close. But with football games running thin, we had to turn our attention elsewhere.
Enter New York City and the beginning of the Johnny media storm. It seems like a lifetime ago, but there was actually a (small) moment where we weren't sure he could string a sentence together. However, when the media shackles finally came off, Johnny wowed the press and put the cap on what was certainly a slam dunk Heisman campaign.
Only... we still weren't sure. Notre Dame had a Hawaiian linebacker who made tackles and long distance friends, and Kansas St. had a quarterback who could fill a stat sheet with moxie and grit and even stats sometimes. And while neither was a real contender, we tried to find a narrative that could screw us over. Because that's what we do.
That all, mercifully, went out the window when fancy presenter lady walked to the stage and
concisely stated her purpose before announcing the winner led us on a rambling speech that felt like an hour. At the end, though, we hit paydirt.
We had our second Heisman winner.
There are a hundred things I could say about the season, the Heisman moments, the ceremony, and the speech. Instead, I'll point to Aggie Athletics, because their coverage leading up to and following the event was world class. And it didn't get any better than the video they released a few minutes after the ceremony.
#9 - Johnny’s Encore (Football vs. Oklahoma; Cotton Bowl 2013)
I promise, y'all. I'll swear on anything you ask. I'll swear on ketch's completely arbitrary set of standards that he totally abides by. Anything. But I promise that our voting results placed the OU Cotton Bowl immediately after the Heisman ceremony.
Which is perfect, because if the Heisman ceremony was a final stick of dynamite into our personal pile of BAS, the Cotton Bowl was a lovely four-hour stroll through the wreckage. We knew the Sooners couldn't stop us, and they knew they couldn't stop us. It was delightful, it was relaxing, and it was an absolute ass kicking that produced four moments I personally enjoyed a great deal.
1) Sad Stoopses. Stoopses? Stoopi? Who cares. They were pissed, and it was hilarious. If I found myself in a room without oxygen, this gif could keep me alive for 48 hours.
2) Johnny's leisurely stroll down the sideline to open the scoring. All done with an air of "Y'all, I really am this good. It wasn't an act."
3) EZ (who by the way is our best former player twitter follow) got to close his career with a deep TD.
4) Mike Evans, man's game.
The final Johnny tally? 287 yard passing, 229 rushing, and four total touchdowns. Just another day at the office.
#8 - Gary Blair Cuts Down The Nets (Women’s Basketball; 2011 National Title)
Quick note: We unashamedly love Gary Blair. Love him. When women's basketball season comes around next year, come see us. I've yet to see anybody match our guy (@jimhu) in quality/quantity of content.
After our regional final demolition of Skeletor Mulkey and the hated Bears, a trip to Indianapolis and the Final Four beckoned. The opponent? Regional champion Stanford, the Aggies' second #1 seed in a row and national runner up in two of the past three seasons.
The Cardinal's poise/experience carried the day for the majority of the game, and with six minutes remaining the Ags were still down ten. That's when our old Secretary of Defense Vic Schaefer dialed up the defensive pressure to flip the momentum, and A&M rode a wave of stops and turnovers to force a tie with around a minute remaining.
And y'all, this final minute was intense. The teams traded buckets twice, with the final dagger coming on a Tyra White layup with 3.3 seconds remaining. We were headed to our first ever national championship game.
The opponent for this one was Notre Dame, who did us a solid by knocking off the previously undefeated Connecticut Huskies in the other semifinal.
"If you don't expect to win, don't get off the bus"
- Gary Blair
The national title game, and particularly the 2nd half, was the Danielle Adams show. Adams, who was uncharacteristically quiet in the semifinal, scored 22 of 30 points in the final period; thus cementing both her legacy and her comfy spot in the rafters as the second A&M basketball player to have her jersey retired.
The national title was ours.
#7 - He Got A Touchdown! (Football vs. Kansas State; 1998 Big XII Championship)
Quick note: We briefly touched on this during our discussion of the first ever Maroon Out, but when the Big XII was formed the national consensus was that the South division would drag the conference down. Badly.
Oh, 1998. What a tumultuous season. It started with a loss in the most hyped season-opener in program history (a neutral site loss to #2 Florida St.), changed course with the previously-discussed home win over #2 Nebraska, and went south again due to Ricky Williams and the
pig slop perfectly manicured grass at DKR in Austin.
With our faint national title hopes officially gone, we headed to St. Louis for the Big XII title game against the undefeated #2 (really? a third time?) Kansas St. Wildcats, in a game many predicted to be an out-and-out whipping.
And for the most part, it was. KSU held a 27-12 lead after three quarters, and it should have been worse. But the Ags scored to make it 27-19, and then an odd thing happened... we started getting every break imaginable.
Break #1: On 3rd and 6, with 2:34 remaining... Michael Bishop breaks the pocket and picks up the first down, effectively sealing the ga- WAIT HE COUGHED IT UP WE HAVE A CHANCE!
Break #2: Bumgartner lays out on a deep throw and makes the biggest catch of his life (to date) to bring the Aggies down to the KSU 11.
Break #3: Current location (yup, still the 11) be damned, the Wildcats decide to give Sirr Parker a 12 yard cushion and we gleefully take advantage. Sadly, despite the result for KSU, we would choose to utilize this defensive strategy ourselves for years to come.
Break #4: On the ensuing two-point conversion, the Wildcats again decide that Parker isn't to be bothered, and the Aggie running back catches a pass in the flats to tie the game.
Break #5: KSU QB Michael Bishop lobs a last second Hail Mary, but that's OK surely we'll knock it down... hmm we tipped it up in the air, that's not ide- OH MOTHER OF PEARL A WILDCAT RECEIVER HAS IT GET HIM GET HIM GET HIM SWEET MERCY WE TACKLED HIM AT THE ONE I NEED A MOUNTAIN DEW AND SOME FUN DIP AND WHATEVER ELSE I USED TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF SIXTEEN YEARS AGO
Break #6: The Wildcats continue to be aghast that we would dare resist their path to the National Title, and do nothing offensively in overtime. Which leads us to....
Dave may be a homer, but he's our homer.
#6 - Let There Be Towels (Football vs. Nebraska; 2010)
We were back.
We had turned things around with Von's personal destruction of the Oklahoma Sooners, and we had kept it going with a throttling of the Bears in Waco.
Next up? A night game against the #9 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Towels were distributed pre-game, and the resulting visual was absolutely stunning.
The game, however, was not. It was ugly, dirty, and noticeably lacking in touchdowns. It essentially boils down to five key points, the result of which was a 9-6 victory for the good guys.
1) Cryus Gray willed his way to 137 yards on a night when nothing else was working
2) Nebraska committed fifteen penalties, while A&M only committed two. It was a cleanly officiated game, and it definitely was not biased against the team leaving the conference. We'd see this soon enough.
3) Two future NFL kickers did stuff. Ours did more stuff.
4) Bo Pelini yelled at everyone. Taylor Martinez, the TexAgs staff, the referees, everyone.
5) Did I mention towels? Because towels.
The game ended with the students rushing the field, sawing it off with the team, and creating one of the coolest ESPN sign-off shots in recent memory.
But the best moment of the night, and honestly the best moment of that season, came when Nebraska failed on fourth down and effectively ended the game. In a complete release of raw, pure, emotion; the students started throwing their towels. Everywhere. It was beautiful, and it was a poignant visual for a group of people ready to put some really bad football behind them.
To the students who spent their years on campus during the Sherman era, I say this in all seriousness: I'm glad you had this day.
Well, that's it. Only five remaining. And unfortunately for me, it is probably now possible for each of you to deduce which of your all-time favorites didn't make the cut.
Any thoughts on the events above? Did you throw a towel? Did a Pelini yell at you? Hit the comments below.